Amanda Knox to appear at Italy slander retrial

The case has attracted global media interest. (Vincenzo PINTO)
The case has attracted global media interest. (Vincenzo PINTO)

Amanda Knox said on Monday she would be back in court in Italy this week for a slander case linked to her conviction and later acquittal for the 2007 murder of her British roommate.

Knox, from Seattle, was 20 when she was arrested alongside her Italian then-boyfriend and a Congolese bar owner over the brutal killing of 21-year-old exchange student Meredith Kercher in their shared apartment in Perugia.

Knox, now 36, spent four years in an Italian prison for the murder before being freed on appeal, convicted again and then finally exonerated in 2015.

In 2011, she was sentenced to three years already served for falsely implicating bar owner Patrick Lumumba in the murder.

But Italy's highest court quashed the slander conviction last October and ordered a new trial in Florence -- with the next hearing and potentially the verdict due on Wednesday.

"On June 5th, I will walk into the very same courtroom where I was reconvicted of a crime I didn't commit, this time to defend myself yet again," Knox wrote on X, referring to the second time she was found guilty of murder.

"I hope to clear my name once and for all of the false charges against me. Wish me luck!"

Knox's lawyer Carlo Dalla Vedova told AFP his client would likely make a spontaneous declaration during Wednesday's hearing.

Both parties will be able to appeal the verdict, so the case may still go to Italy's highest court.

Knox had implicated Lumumba during police questioning in which she claimed she was yelled at, slapped and threatened.

Her claims prompted a separate charge in Italy of slandering police, of which she was cleared in 2016.

Then in 2019 the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Knox had not been provided with adequate legal representation or a professional interpreter during her interrogation.

It said her treatment "compromised the fairness of the proceedings as a whole".

Last October's court decision cited the European ruling when it ordered a retrial.

- Global media storm -

Kercher had been found half-naked and stabbed 47 times. Police also found signs of sexual assault.

Lumumba, the bar owner, spent more than a week in jail after being implicated by Knox, before being cleared of any involvement in the crime.

An Ivorian drifter, Rudy Guede, who was linked to the murder scene by DNA evidence, was sentenced in 2008 to 30 years for murder and sexual assault, his sentence later cut to 16 years.

He was released early in November 2021.

The case attracted global media interest, with Knox at the centre.

She was initially sentenced in 2009 to 26 years in jail, but was freed on appeal in 2011, when she returned to the United States.

She was convicted again in her absence in 2014.

Finally in 2015, Italy's top court quashed her conviction and that of her former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito.

Knox returned to Italy five years ago to appear on a discussion panel entitled "Trial by Media" in the northern city of Modena.

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